Best Beaches in the US for Babies and Toddlers
A real beach baby at play.
A real beach baby at play.
Beach toys for baby play in the sand

Parents review their top baby beach getaways for that first vacation when your tiny traveler needs a gentle introduction to the pleasures of sun, sand and waves.

As parents, we can’t wait to introduce our babies to the world.  We make a fuss about their first taste of ice cream, their first visit to the zoo, and their first airplane ride.  One of the pleasures we can’t wait to share is the family beach vacation.

We know baby will grin from ear to ear while splashing in the water and digging in the sand, chasing seabirds and collecting shells.  We know baby will not want to leave… ever.

When you’re planning a kids’ vacation with an infant or toddler, just any beach won’t do.

So, we interviewed Moms and Dads around the United States about their favorite family beach vacations, and came up with a short list of beaches that are especially baby-friendly. Our list of a dozen great beaches for the youngest set will introduce you to the places where the shoreline is covered in soft sand; warm, gentle waters lap at the coast; and a lifeguard is on duty

[Editor’s Note:  Due to budget contraints there are no lifeguards at Whitefish Dunes State Park.]

A Dozen Top Baby Beach Getaways

Here’s FTF’s list of great family beaches and baby beaches

Dana Point Baby Beach – Featured in Anaheim, Orange County California Attractions
Mission Bay Park, San Diego – Featured in San Diego Fun Activities for Toddlers

Bethany Beach – Featured in Bethany Beach is Delaware’s Quiet Resort

Clearwater Beach – Featured in Clearwater: Another Side of Florida

Poipu Beach, Kauai – Featured in Kauai, Hawaii Fun Activities for Toddlers
Baby Beach, Maui – Featured in The Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Maui Welcomes Tiny Travelers

First Encounter Beach, Eastham – Featured in Massachusetts’ Very Own Cape Cod

Sleeping Bear Dunes, Empire – Featured in Five Family Beaches on the Great Lakes

New York
Flying Point Beach, Southhampton – Featured in A Weekend in the Hamptons

South Carolina
Huntington Beach State Park at Murrells Inlet – Featured in A Myrtle Beach Family Vacation

Corpus Christi/McGee Beaches – Featured in South Texas Welcomes Families

Whitefish Dunes State Park – Featured in Reunion Destination – Door County, Wisconsin

Baby Beach Day Wellness Tips

Before you load up the minivan or pack your picnic basket, here are a few tips to keep in mind to protect parents and baby from the stress of summer.

Don’t forget

  • Extra diapers, bathing suit and clothes
  • Lots of drinks and snacks
  • Toys such as a beach ball, pail & shovel, dump truck

Sun Protection

  • Plan to be on the beach after 2pm, when the sun is not at its strongest
  • Slather your baby in sunscreen to protect her very sensitive skin, re-apply it regularly, and have her wear a wide brim hat and sunglasses. 
  • Consider clothing that has UV protection built into the fabric
  • Protect little feet from hot sand and pebbles with watershoes, Tevas or Crocs
  • Bring a beach umbrella for quiet or nap time


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